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Thread: Shoaib Malik's one-year ban lifted

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    lost in darkness Brigadier General raiyan's Avatar
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    Default Shoaib Malik's one-year ban lifted

    Shoaib Malik's appeal against the punishment handed out to him by the PCB earlier this year has been "partially accepted" by an independent arbitration tribunal, which has overturned his one-year ban and halved his Rs 2 million fine.

    "The board's legal advisor has reported to me that after monitoring Malik in the last three months they feel he has improved his behavior and attitude," Irfan Qadir, the arbitrator, said. "I have decided to uphold his appeal and lift the ban as the purpose of disciplinary action against players was to make them rethink about their careers."

    Malik was relieved after the decision and said the purpose behind his appeal was to "clear this stigma" against his name.

    "His appeal has been partially accepted," the PCB's legal advocate Talib Rizvi told Cricinfo. "The ban has been lifted and his fine has been halved. The board has the right to review the decision but as of now he is eligible to play for Pakistan again."

    "I am very happy that with the blessings of Allah my stand has been vindicated and all the baseless charges and allegations have been quashed," Malik, 28, said in a statement. "It's a sort of new life for me and I am very happy."

    The charge against Malik was never clearly explained by the inquiry committee that decided on the punishment but it was widely thought to be for what a number of management officials and players called his negative influence on the side. This was confirmed in a subsequently leaked video of the inquiry committee meetings, in which Malik's role within the squad was blasted by a number of players including Shahid Afridi and Mohammad Yousuf.

    Qadir, a retired judge, will now send a report to the PCB chairman Ijaz Butt, who will put the decisions in front of the board of governors. "We're going according to our constitution which says an appeal can be filed in such cases," Butt told Cricinfo. "I will now receive the report from the arbitrator and then put it up in front of the board of governors for their approval."

    Though Butt refused to say so, it is expected he will approve the findings and that the board of governors will ratify it as well, thus removing legal obstacles from the way of Malik's potential return. Malik was named in the list of 35 probables for Pakistan's next two assignments, in Sri Lanka for the Asia Cup and then a long summer tour to England, but it is unlikely he will make the cut for the first task. The 15-man squad for the Asia Cup is to be picked in the first week of June and the governing board's next meeting is likely to be after that.

    The decision also paves the way for some of the other players' punishments to be reduced or removed. The board has eased its stance in recent days against the punished players. Butt first told a national assembly meeting that he would review the punishments again before lavishly praising Younis Khan - another player punished by his board. Younis' hearing, which was due to take place immediately after Malik's, was adjourned to June 5.

    Malik's relief, Cricinfo understands, is part of an agreement the board has reached already with at least three other players. According to board sources, like Malik, Afridi and the Akmal brothers will also see their monetary fines cut by half. Of the other players punished, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan's next hearing is scheduled for June 19, while no dates have yet been set for Afridi and the Akmal brothers.

    When and if players such as Malik and Younis return - and if Mohammad Yousuf comes back from retirement - questions are likely to be asked about how cordial Pakistan's dressing room will be, given the startling levels of mistrust and disunity in the side. The PCB says they have given the team's manager Yawar Saeed and other officials greater authority in clamping down against any future incidents.



    "I have instructed the team manager and other officials including the captain that any act of indiscipline, any such problem, and they have my full backing in immediately sending a player back," Butt said. "They need not even refer the case to me, they can send the player back immediately as they will have full authority to do so."

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    lost in darkness Brigadier General raiyan's Avatar
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    Default Former Pakistan players slam overturning of Malik's ban

    Former Pakistan players, Aamer Sohail and Abdul Qadir, have criticised the decision taken by arbitrator Irfan Qadir to overturn Shoaib Malik's one-year ban and cut his fine by half. Speculation in Pakistan has suggested that political pressure was brought to bear on the PCB regarding Malik's ban.

    "By lifting the ban on Malik, the PCB has succumbed to political pressures," Qadir, a former chief selector, said. "If the board had taken a strong decision, it should have stuck to it come what may, but their decision will now encourage the players to violate discipline and get away with it."

    Since Malik had been pardoned, Qadir said, the PCB would have to do the same with the other players. "Now it's the duty of the board to clear other players also because it will be blamed to have done preferential treatment to one player after Malik is cleared," he said.

    Sohail called the decision a "hasty" one. "To hide its own incompetence, the PCB targeted the players and, after pressures from outside, they abruptly lifted the ban."

    The PCB had banned Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf, from playing for Pakistan in any format for an indefinite period, while handing out one-year bans to Malik and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan following the team's disastrous tour of Australia in 2009-10. Shahid Afridi and the Akmal brothers were fined Rs 2-3 million [$24,000-35,000] for various misdemeanours and put on six-month probations.

    The charge against Malik was never clearly explained by the inquiry committee that decided on the punishment but it was widely thought to be for what a number of management officials and players called his negative influence on the side. This was confirmed in a subsequently leaked video of the inquiry committee meetings, in which Malik's role within the squad was blasted by a number of players including Afridi and Yousuf.

    Sarfraz Nawaz, a former fast bowler, was scathing in his criticism of the PCB, saying it had taken "a coward's stance". "It's a decision taken under political pressure and will damage Pakistan cricket in the future," he said. "PCB took a decision against discipline breaches but couldn't stand the pressure from political forces. I also question the authority of the arbitrator as well who doesn't have the credibility and authority to take such a decision."

    All of the punished players, apart from the retired Yousuf, had appealed against their bans and fines and will have hearings in June. Younis' appeal was scheduled to be heard immediately after Malik's but it was pushed back to June 5, while Naved-ul-Hasan's hearing was set for June 19. However, Iqbal Mohammad Ali, the head of parliament's sports committee, felt the delays were a deliberate attempt to keep them out of the Asia Cup in June.

    "I believe the only reason in delaying the appeals of these two players is that the PCB does not want to include their names in the Asia Cup squad," Ali told AP. "He [arbitrator] should have given decisions on all the six appeals yesterday, but he just lifted ban from Shoaib Malik and reduced the fine.


    "It surprised me that they kept only Malik under observation. PCB should treat all the players equally. If they had decided to lift the ban on Malik and reduce the fine, they should have taken the similar decision on all the players."

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